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One of the major takeaways from the article was the language and perspective with which the author uses while studying the complexities surrounding economic decision making on the individual level for the poor and extremely poor. What surprised me most about the article came about through the discussion of percent of earnings the poor spend on food and what they "ought" to spend based on nutritional recommendations. The lens with which the author presents poor people is otherly and irrational, a people who may be able to make a more rational decision once they gain more proper "planning skills". The author points to the decision to spend approximately 5% of annual income on entertainment such as radios, tvs, and festivals as irrational; however when considering the alternative it becomes apparent why these spending habits are unsurprisingly the most common case scenario. While the author brings up the discussion of marginal utility from the extra calories needed for their diet being less than the marginal utility gained from entertainment outlets, he projects his opinion that with proper planning the poor will be able to overcome this short sight and obtain proper nutritional substance. I believe expecting humans to operate as machines and always value marginal nutrition over freedom of choice or happiness that one may gain through redirection of funds into other avenues is shortsighted to say the least. It would be interesting and insightful, from my opinion, to repeat this study from a more ethnographically based discipline and see if we can create a more concrete answer to the whys of the spending habits of the poor as opposed to deducing most likely case scenarios when the author like many of us is so far removed from the heart of the matter.
Toggle Commented Sep 12, 2019 on Readings for next week at Jolly Green General
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Sep 11, 2019